Jazz Weekender: Mingus Big Band

Date: Sunday 21 October 2018
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Main Hall
Tickets: £15.00 + booking fee

Please note: This event will be set up as unreserved Cabaret Style seating

The Jazz Weekender culminates in one of the finest large-scale jazz ensembles coming out of the USA today. The Mingus Big Band celebrates the music of the acclaimed composer/ bassist Charles Mingus, who died in 1979. One of the most important figures in twentieth century American music, he wrote music that is still far ahead of its time. A virtuoso bass player, accomplished pianist, bandleader and composer, Mingus recorded over a hundred albums and wrote over three hundred compositions, leaving the second-largest legacy in American music after Ellington. Mingus received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Smithsonian Institute, and the Guggenheim Foundation.

After his death, under the artistic direction of Charles Mingus’ wife Sue, this 14-piece band continued to present his music, performing on Thursday nights from 1991 to 2004 at ‘Fez under Time’ cafe in New York City, maintaining residencies in the city from May 2004 until October 2008, when it began, “Mingus Mondays” at Jazz Standard alternating with the Mingus Orchestra and Mingus Dynasty.

The Mingus Big Band now tours extensively in the United States and abroad, and has ten recordings to its credit, seven of which have been nominated for Grammys.

The band not only attracts audiences that might not typically come to see jazz, it provides a home base for many of today’s top performers and exciting new players. The Mingus Big Band regularly tops the lists in critics and readers polls. In 2009, NPR selected the Mingus Big Band to ring in the new year for their nationwide broadcast and podcast. The 2010 Mingus Big Band Live at Jazz Standard was awarded the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.

The New Yorker wrote: “For sheer melodic and rhythmic and structural originality, his compositions may equal anything written in western music in the twentieth century.”

‘Some people describe the Mingus Big and as the most joyous experience in jazz. Others call it the most profound. Seeing the band last night at Ronnie’s was a reminder of why it’s both at once.’ – Daily Telegraph